Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


If you could turn off the atmosphere's ability to scatter overwhelming sunlight, today's daytime sky might look something like this ... with the Sun surrounded by the stars of the constellations Taurus and Gemini. Of course, today is the Solstice. Traveling along the ecliptic plane, the Sun is at its northernmost position in planet Earth's sky, marking the astronomical beginning of summer in the north. Accurate for the exact time of today's Solstice, this composite image also shows the Sun at the proper scale (about the angular size of the Full Moon). Open star cluster M35 is to the Sun's left, and the other two bright stars in view are Mu and Eta Geminorum. Digitally superimposed on a nighttime image of the stars, the Sun itself is a composite of a picture taken through a solar filter and a series of images of the solar corona recorded during the solar eclipse of February 26, 1998 by Andreas Gada.

Leave it to NASA to be the only source on the web with this shot:

Every other web shot I can find gets the sunrise to one side of the altarstone or the other. This was the only one with the sun in the 'right' place. The astronomer writing the caption simply called it "one of Stonehenge's massive standing stones".

Some how this does not surprise me.

The Fair Folk would laugh at this erudite ignorance.


granny said...

I love this post Kelley.

kelley b. said...

Thank you, granny, whichever world you post from!

Anonymous said...

The big stone with the sun over it is not the altar stone - that's stone 56, one of the two uprights for the highest trilithon - you can just make out the tenon bump on the top which fitted into the lintel.

The altar stone lies prostrate under this stone's partner, which fell, broke and squashed it.

It's a great photo though